Setting Fire To The Apron Strings…

by Lisa Donovan

My visit with my mom was, well, nice.  But, I find myself, this Monday morning, looking up article after article about mending the strains between mothers and daughters that seem, in the most cliched way ever, inevitable within our culture. 

It is hard for some of the elder women of the tribe to see younger women change the course of things, I guess.  For every ounce of effort that I put toward balancing my life with the life of my children and husband, she gains fifty more ounces of confusion about it.  In general, I think that most women my age struggle with either a mother that holds very true to a more modest and self sacrificing style of living for her family OR a mother who is a stringent feminist and isn’s supportive of anything to do with family or “settling” down.  Mine would be the former.  Either is dangerous and it leaves us girls who are starting our real lives (the lives that we will be in for the next fifty years - you know, as opposed to those early 20’s when we were making decisions for today rather than for tomorrow..) are left out in the cold because there is no one there to say “damn. You’re doing well. You have a passion that isn’t at all about your family AND a family that you are passionate about.  WELL done!!”.  Sure, our husbands and our friends are there as support systems but when it comes down to it, we just want our mommy to look at us and be proud and, more than that, UNDERSTAND what our lives are about. 

My mother and I are far from estranged.  I am happy to say that we have a lovely relationship, for the most part.  But I hold back.  A lot.  and I see the confusion in her eyes when she comes to visit.  My need to write.  My urge, and subsequent decision to hold back, to show her the art studio that my husband and I share and the paintings that I have started and finished.  The girlfriends I have made who are all, themselves, quite talented artists and musicians and scientists - some who have kids and some who don’t.  All of these things do nothing but challenge her upbringing and her idea, I guess, of how my life was supposed to be.  I feel like she is wondering the entire time “where’s the Tupperware party?  There is no Tupperware party.  There never will be.  I just wonder when my idea of success will match up with hers.  I guess that has been the question for thousands of years between mothers and daughters.  Funny how it never seems to get answered.

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This entry was posted on Monday, October 9th, 2006 at 9:25 am and is filed under Parenting, Building and Maintaining, Communication. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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